The existence of a speck of dust makes everything possible. If dust does not exist, neither does the universe, nor you, nor I. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

solitude

Upon a trunk is a framed photograph of my mother, a hand painted photograph, of her when she was young.  When my eyes linger I’m introduced to unabashed joy.  Before it are three small framed images … her first born – my sister D, and her two sons – C and L.  

It is an image of my mother I do not hold in memory…invisible like my father’s. It is of a young woman before she was a widow with three children, a twice divorced, and finally a woman married to T, her first love.

She named her sons after their fathers.  Her last two born are daughters, M and S.  Within M’s name is Faith. Within S’s name, Joy. A mother’s blessing.  

Then there is I…her second born who as a teen exhausted her.   “Do I have to?” she responded to a police officer’s question, “Is this your child?”  

A mother-daughter relationship defined as “complex.”  

My secret childhood fantasy was to come home from school — the afternoon sun warming the kitchen…she standing in the kitchen — and I would hear, “Be more gentle when closing the door.”

Not the vibrations of more gentle but the sounds of more gentle. She could hear…she could hear me…my voice. My faith, my faith despite being the size of a mustard seed was felt by God.

She has come to visit many times as I dust these photographs … often remembering the visit after L’s funeral. She shared that the only time in her life she regretted being deaf was after I told her that within the sound of his girlfriend’s voice was D’s.

This I believe open the door to the realization that if my childhood self had succeeded in finding and pulling out the thread of deafness in the tapestry of my mother’s life, she would no longer be. If she no longer was, then the universe of my life would not exist. It was she, her total being that made everything possible.

This week Ann-Christine (Leya) invites us to explore where or what is our hideaway.

What exactly is a hideaway?

North Park

Roger’s International Thesaurus (revised: Robert L Chapman, 1977) offers two understanding of Hideaway: 1) hiding place – secret place, corner, asylum, sanctuary, retreat, refuge, cubbyhole and 2) retreat – secret place, den, ivory tower, hideout, cell, lair, cloister, hermitage, ashram

Medicine Bow National Forest

Refuge synonyms include: sanctuary, harbor, safe haven, game sanctuary, safety zone, shelter, home, hospice, orphanage, retreat, secret place.

One may take refuge, claim sanctuary, throw oneself into the arms of, make port, reach safety.

Cameron Peak

My hideaway…retreat…sanctuary is my backyard where my family plays, camps, swims, hikes, photographs, share memories/hopes/fears, and laughs. These places where we sought sanctuary include Medicine Bow National Forest, Horsetooth Reservoir, Poudre Canyon, Cameron Peak, North Park.

Poudre Canyon

Today, all threatened within the Mulen Fire and the Cameron Peak Fire.

Horsetooth Reservoir

“…from another perspective, refuge is about how you relate to the experience of life itself. When you stop looking outside or inside for something to free you from your struggles, you take refuge in direct awareness. …When awareness and experience are not different, you stop struggling with what arises and you are taking refuge in clarity…when you experience life without grasping, opposing or ignoring what arises, you take refuge in unrestricted experience.” (cited: Ken McLeod, Reflections on Silver River)

An island of self….

“for us to survive, both as individuals and as a species, we need a revolution in consciousness.”

Love Letter to the Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh, April 21, 2019 Plum Village
Poudre Canyon…summer 2018 Nikon D750 f/7.1 1/200s 39mm 4000 ISO

Another with same thoughts
May be gazing at the pale morning moon 
Of the Long-night month– 
No sight is more sorrowful

~Izumi Shikibu,

Trans: AS Omori & K Doi, Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

BELOVED MOTHER OF ALL THINGS

“I bow my head before you as I look deeply and recognise that you are present in me and that I’m a part of you. I was born from you and you are always present, offering me everything I need for my nourishment and growth. My mother, my father, and all my ancestors are also your children. We breathe your fresh air. We drink your clear water. We eat your nourishing food. Your herbs heal us when we’re sick. …

“Sometimes I forget. Lost in the confusions and worries of daily life, I forget that my body is your body, and sometimes even forget that I have a body at all. Unaware of the presence of my body and the beautiful planet around me and within me, I’m unable to cherish and celebrate the precious gift of life you have given me. Dear Mother, my deep wish is to wake up to the miracle of life. I promise to train myself to be present for myself, my life, and for you in every moment. I know that my true presence is the best gift I can offer to you, the one I love.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Love Letter to the Earth Plum Village

“Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.” –Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007

Climate Hot MapGlobal Warming Effects Around the World

Why You Need to Act Now
Substantial scientific evidence indicates that an increase in the global average temperature of more than 2°F above where we are today poses severe risks to natural systems and human health. To avoid this level of warming, the U.S. needs to reduce heat-trapping emissions by at least 80 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. Delay in taking such action today will mean facing the need for much steeper cuts later, which will likely be more difficult and costly.

Impacts of Global Warming

Global warming is already underway with consequences that must be faced today as well as tomorrow. Evidence of changes to the Earth’s physical, chemical and biological processes is now evident on every continent.

  • Sea levels are rising and glaciers are shrinking;
  • record high temperatures and severe rainstorms and droughts are becoming increasingly common.
  • Changes in temperatures and rainfall patterns alter plant and animal behavior and have significant implications for humans.

The Climate Hot Map arranges current and future climate impacts into five main groupings:

  • People
  • Freshwater
  • Oceans
  • Ecosystems
  • Temperature

cited: Union of Concerned Scientists

“Our mind is a painter, it paints all kinds of wonderful things, which are nothing more than the objects of our imagination. We create images to love, to crave, to be angry with, and to hate. It is our mind, our perceptions, that create these images. All perceptions are wrong perceptions. If a perception is not wrong, we call it understanding or wisdom.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh (The Other Shore)

Nikon D750 f/5 1/400s 70mm 140 ISO

Alas! the waving moss deceived your vision. 
The clear mirror* is never tarnished: 
Therefore look deep. ~
 Lady Sakyo (Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)

*The mirror is the symbol of the soul of a Japanese woman